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June 8, 2013

"Man in case of 3 Ohio women held captive faces 329 charges including murder, rape, kidnapping"

The title of this post is the headline of this AP report on the indictments coming from a local grand jury on Friday which charge Ariel Castro with hundreds of crimes for spending a decade torturing three young women in his Cleveland home.  Here are the details:

A man accused of holding three women captive for about a decade in his Cleveland home — sometimes restraining them in chains — has been indicted by a grand jury on 329 charges, including aggravated murder, rape and kidnapping, prosecutors said.

Ariel Castro, 52, is accused of kidnapping Amanda Berry, Gina DeJesus and Michelle Knight and holding keeping them inside his the run-down home, along with a 6-year-old girl he fathered with Berry. A Cuyahoga County grand jury returned the indictment Friday against Castro, a former school bus driver fired last fall.

He faces two counts of aggravated murder related to one act, saying he purposely caused the unlawful termination of one of the women’s pregnancies. Castro also was indicted on 139 counts of rape, 177 counts of kidnapping, seven counts of gross sexual imposition, three counts of felonious assault and one count of possession of criminal tools.

Cuyahoga County prosecutor Tim McGinty said the indictment covers only the period from August 2002, when the first of the women disappeared, to February 2007.

The indictment refers to the women as Jane Doe 1, Jane Doe 2 and Jane Doe 3 and gives a glimpse into the circumstances of their captivity. The aggravated murder counts stem from the unlawful termination of Jane Doe 1’s pregnancy in late 2006 or early 2007, the indictment says.

It says Castro restrained the women, sometimes chaining them to a pole in a basement, to a bedroom heater or inside a van. It says one of the women tried to escape and he assaulted her with a vacuum cord around her neck.

Castro’s attorneys have said he would plead not guilty to any indictment. Castro, during a brief court appearance last month, tried to hide his face, tucking his chin inside his shirt collar, and did not speak. Castro is being held on $8 million bail. He has been taken off suicide prevention watch, jail officials said this week. He has told jail guards he won’t accept news media interview requests....

The women had gone missing separately between 2002 and 2004, when they were 14, 16 and 20 years old. They haven’t spoken publicly since their rescue....

Castro will be arraigned on the charges next week, and a trial judge will then be assigned.

The investigation continues, said McGinty, the prosecutor. When the indictment process is completed, the county prosecutor’s capital review committee will weigh whether the case is appropriate for seeking the death penalty. Days after the women were rescued from Castro’s home, McGinty had said at a news conference that capital punishment “must be reserved for those crimes that are truly the worst examples of human conduct.”...

Attorneys for the three women said Friday they were letting the judicial process unfold in the case. “We have a great legal system plus confidence and faith in the prosecutor’s office and its decisions,” they said in an emailed statement.

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June 8, 2013 at 09:32 AM | Permalink


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No matter his sentence, dead man walking.

Posted by: George | Jun 9, 2013 12:29:33 AM

Why the stacking other than to generate trial billable hours? Pick one or two solid charges with life sentences and have a brief trial, sparing the victims and the public the lurid details of the rest of the crimes.

This charging is law porn.

Posted by: Supremacy Claus | Jun 9, 2013 9:31:02 AM

I agree completely with S.C. Classic prosecutorial overkill.

Posted by: Michael R. Levine | Jun 9, 2013 10:58:28 PM

Not overkill---this guy probably committed 10,000 separate crimes.

Posted by: federalist | Jun 9, 2013 11:35:30 PM

Highly unusual to see Mr.Levine agree with S.C. However, I too must concur with them and disagree with Federalist. 3 kidnapping counts and three forcible rape counts, and perhaps a murder count. Would be enough for the jury to digest and more than enough to achieve life without and possible death. Throwing more counts creates more issues for the defense, more confusion, infinitely more expense, and to what end?

Posted by: onlooker14 | Jun 10, 2013 1:57:12 PM

Charge him on what you can win and then a few more...The idea is to let the boys in the Joint take care of this guy...
For sure take him off suicide watches and any thing else that may benefit him..
Put him in the basement and he can Play checkers with Ben and Willard...(The movie, Ben and I)

Posted by: MidWest Guy | Jun 10, 2013 3:15:19 PM

MidWest Guy, I agree that once in prison his days are numbered regardless of sentence.

Posted by: onlooker14 | Jun 10, 2013 6:03:47 PM

SC --

"Why the stacking other than to generate trial billable hours? Pick one or two solid charges with life sentences and have a brief trial, sparing the victims and the public the lurid details of the rest of the crimes."

The best way to "spare the victims and the public" is to bring no charges at all. Indeed, the "spare the victims" theory is more compelling the more horrid the crime. Thus, if that theory were to hold sway, the message to people like Castro is: Make your crime as horrible as you can, so defense allies can yell, "Please, spare the victims!"

In addition, who among us can speak for the victims? It may well be that they never want to think about it again, ever. On the other hand, one or more might be counting the minutes until she can take the stand, point her finger at Castro, and say, "You had your way, you miserable bastard, and now I'm going to have mine. I want the jury to hear it all, every detail, every grotesque minute, so they send you to the death chamber -- the only place a vermin like you deserves to be."

Posted by: Bill Otis | Jun 10, 2013 6:37:40 PM

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